A few years ago, Skywest Airlines indicated to the City Council and airport manager that they were interested in bidding the Essential Air Service contract using a 50- or 70-seat twin engine CRJ jet airplane.
Upon inspection of our airport, there were a couple of improvements that needed to be done for their class of aircraft.
Those improvements included runway markings on the north end of the runway, called a displaced runway marking, and, on the east side of the airport boundary, an electric fence needed to be moved a short distance to the east. Runway length was OK; however, we already own property on the south end of the runway should it need to be extended.
This small upgrade to the airport would not cost a lot of money as there are funds available from the FAA and the Department of Transportation, and grants to help defray the cost to the city and county.
Many Cortez passengers are driving to Durango to get on this exact type of airplane. Why should Cortez and Montezuma County, for want of a small upgrade, lose revenue to La Plata County?
We should continue upgrading our airport for passenger safety and revenue for our county. I am available to answer any questions to anyone who is interested. Upgrade our airport now!